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Cunliffe state of the nation speech

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, January 27th, 2014 - 193 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014 - Tags:

David Cunliffe state of the nation

For Labour party members and supporters in the Auckland region if you are looking for something to do today come along and see David Cunliffe’s state of the nation speech.

Stuff has already hinted at what might be in the speech:

[David] Cunliffe last week formally ditched two of his party’s 2011 policies: a tax-free band on the first $5000 of income, and a pledge to exempt fresh fruit and vegetables from GST.

Together they would have cost $1.5 billion a year, and scrapping them has created room for Labour to spend in other areas to help low-income families.

Cunliffe said new policies would be better targeted than the two dumped tax breaks, which gave the same, or even more, to the rich as to the poor.

He would not say whether the new initiatives would use all the $1.5b saved.

Speculation has centred on a new payment to low-income families, likely to be targeted at those with children, but Labour MPs have refused to confirm this.

Finance spokesman David Parker would say only that the axed policies had created “fiscal headroom”.

Labour’s message that the Government is overseeing a tale of two countries – the haves and the have-nots – is aimed at countering the better economic news emerging, including forecasts New Zealand’s growth rate will make it the “rock star” among developed economies this year.

As well as attacks on the unequal distribution of the benefits of recovery, Cunliffe is expected to warn of the damage rising interest rates will do to those struggling to get ahead and pay for the increasing cost of housing.

He is also likely to renew a call for fundamental reforms to macro-economic policy that National shies away from.

They include a capital gains tax (exempting the family home), changes to the way the Reserve Bank operates monetary policy and steps to gradually increase the state pension age from 65 to 67.

The speech is being held at Kelston Girls High School and will start at 1 pm.  If you do want to attend you can RSVP here.

If you cannot attend but want to watch it the speech will be streamed through here.

Update:  The hall is absolutely full and there will be a delay in starting …

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193 comments on “Cunliffe state of the nation speech”

  1. BM 1

    Don’t be to disappointed if Cunliffe’s speech doesn’t get a lot of coverage on tonights news

    Unfortunately, not great timing with it clashing with the whole lorde, grammies hoo haa.

    Hopefully it may get a minute or two about 10-15 minutes in

  2. karol 2

    Lorde – the curtain raiser – and while all eyes are glued to the screen, wired to brains thinking positive thoughts….. along comes Cunliffe. The meaning is the message.

    And onward the election campaign. Only the beginning.

    Never mind the width – feel the quality.

    • Mary 2.1

      I’m worried, Karol, that Cunliffe will fall into the same trap that the Greens have with its latest education policy which is concentrating on fixing symptoms without addressing fundamental root causes. For example, it’s obvious kids can’t learn when they’re hungry, but does creating a whole set of new institutions around 1 to 4 decile schools reflect the image of a society we really want? All these “initiatives” sound wonderful but they’re being held out as representing vital elements of an equitable society when the reality is they reflect inequality and will continue to do that for as long as they exist. There’s no analysis of the potentially negative impact such piecemeal reform could have on our wider cultural and economic landscape. Institutions are easy to create and hellishly difficult to remove. Just look at how private charity has become a mainstay of our social welfare system. Back in the 1990s food banks were always talked about as a temporary measure. Now it’s fully acceptable for Work and Income to refer people directly to them!

      • millsy 2.1.1

        I see these measures as no different to the school dental service/free milk and schools, that were implemented back in the 20′s and 30′s.

        They became an accepted part of New Zealand’s extensive social support system, and had bi-partisan support.

        • Mary 2.1.1.1

          Yes, but they were implemented across the board and weren’t a knee-jerk response to deep-seated poverty borne out of inherent inequality. That’s the difference and is a very big difference.

          • geoff 2.1.1.1.1

            @Mary
            So what’s your prescription for treating the causes, not the symptoms?

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.1.1.1.1

              As I mentioned below – I had a similar response to Mary

              There are some things that sound great with this idea – help is being offered to the people that need it – yet I do wonder whether people want more ‘interference’ from social services in their lives – do the Greens know the culture of the people in these low decile areas? Have they involved those that need the help and asked them what they need? Or are they going to waltz in and impose their own albeit well-meaning views on them? This is an expensive and potentially unwelcome approach. How about cutting the ‘middlemen’ out and giving some of that money directly to parents instead?

              How to address the causes?

              How about a focus on creating a system where the top wealthiest cannot avoid tax – and corporations stop receiving subsidies from the government? From this money collected create a tax free zone for the first 5,000+ dollars earned – lift the minimum wage drastically – if small/ medium businesses require subsidies to afford these wages – give it to them i.e. stop the charade that wages being subsidized is not what is already occurring – and thereby remove the lack of privacy, complications, hassle and stigma involved with individuals having to deal with Winz. Create job for parents who haven’t one – for example – if there is going to be extra help in schools or elsewhere perhaps the parents of the children could be involved in these hubs.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                …yep and Labour just delivered in this respect for me -my initial response is one of preference for Labour’s approach as briefly outlined in Mr Cunliffe’s State of the Nation speech.

              • thechangeling

                Withdrawing from free trade agreements and restoring tariffs, quotas and other trade restrictions along with instituting local production and consumption with the concurrent investment, job creation that that will allow is the way forward to alleviating and restoring an egalitarian society in New Zealand (and elsewhere).
                However as we are a part of an international trading system this needs to occur in tandem with the IMF, WB and WTO rejecting neo liberal policies and introducing a series of prescriptions collectively entitled ‘Cosmopolitan Social Democracy’.
                Until the neo liberal global trading system enforced by the IMF, WB and WTO changes, only the symptoms of the unegalitarian society in New Zealand will be addressed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  However as we are a part of an international trading system this needs to occur in tandem with the IMF, WB and WTO rejecting neo liberal policies and introducing a series of prescriptions collectively entitled ‘Cosmopolitan Social Democracy’.

                  No, it doesn’t. If we’re re-introducing tarrifs and dropping out of FTAs then, obviously, we’re also dropping out of the international trading system. We don’t have to wait for the IMF, WB or the WTO to change. In fact, I think dropping out of them and changing anyway would be far more effective.

      • karol 2.1.2

        Mary, Cunliffe was critical of Key’s State of the Nation speech, saying it was too narrow. Such a speech, he said, should set the broader agenda on which the election campaign will be fought. Cunliffe said his speech will focus on the broader agenda.

        Key dismissed inequality, and focused on a narrow education policy, that reinforces corporate, privatising values and agenda..

        Turei said the main election issue is inequality (plus poverty). She then gave an education policy that focused on inequality and poverty. This is a step from Key, towards Cunliffe’s bigger picture.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.3

        +1 Mary – I had the same response to you re the Greens announcement – it seemed to be addressing the symptoms not the causes. :(

  3. saarbo 3

    Looking forward to it!

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Best wishes DC, hit a six for all of us.

    • Chooky 4.1

      +1…he’s looking good…like the new leader of the 2014 New Zealand coalition Government ! ….alongside Russell Norman and Metiria Turei

      with possibly Winston Peters and Hone Harawera)…..and Dotcoms support….

      ( Go suck on bad rotten eggs John Key and Steven Joyce and Nact…you horrible weasels, ferrets and stoats)

    • David H 4.2

      True and with most of NZ Cricket lovers on a high over THAT cricket match, and the 2 wins. Yep great timing. Now use it, Don’t lose it.

  5. ak 5

    BM’s quite right. The speech itself is irrelevant compared to the reporting of it, and already – even pre-speech as per Orewa One – repetition of “rock-star economy”, “capital gains tax”, pension age rising to 67, and zero mention of current polling.

    Up against if as always, progressives, no substitute for good old-fashioned grassroots activism and above all, overt expressions of left-wing unity and positivity. Stand beside him Metiria.

  6. greywarbler 6

    Richard Prebble, Fuck-wit, reported on Radionz as being a former Labour, and later ACT politician, is quoted as criticising David Cunliffe’s and Labour’s timing for his speech. WTF This little t..d who was surprised to have found himself thinking once, keeps popping up like a weed.
    Time for Woody Weedkiller for this thick perennial.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +1…it is absolutely pathetic what Radionz regards as news these days….I am not talking about Morning Report but whoever is responsible for some of those brief bulletins of supposed news in between

      what Richard Prebble was saying was NOT news!!!! …..but a political ACT Party has-been spoiler ( ACT hardly exists any more for Christs sake) ……this is bias and trivial comment on Radio NZs part( I turned the radio off)…..someone should make a complaint

      • Tim 6.1.1

        +1
        Something’s happened at RNZ in the past year* – not sure what (or should I say who), but even the once OK news bulletins are now becoming irrelevant, dumbed down crap.
        Over the weekend I even heard a newsreader saying something like “X politician is running the line that….”
        I suspect they’re using ‘cadets’ to do the ‘dirty work’ and that editorial staff aren’t that sharp.

        * I mean aside from what we already knew was infectious kaka especially 1-5pm, but also 9-noon.

    • Not a PS Staffer 6.2

      http://bsa.govt.nz/complaints/formal-complaint

      Radio NZ needs to rocket up its %$#@ for being irrelevant.

      Make a complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

  7. Jenny 7

    Finance spokesman David Parker would say only that the axed policies had created “fiscal headroom”.

    Maybe the Finance spokesman David Parker could tabulate the “X” amount of “fiscal headroom” that will be created, if as well as reversing the “promised” tax cuts on the poor, we reversed all the “actual” tax cuts on the rich?

    How much would it be?

    $1.5billion? Twice that amount? Three times?
    Half that amount?

    I doubt we will be hearing this figure being bandied about in todays speech.

    Max Headroom

  8. Olwyn 8

    I suggest that everyone who is a position to attend should do so. A big crowd is harder for the media to ignore than a small one. A big, enthusiastic crowd also helps to build momentum, whatever the media response. It also puts pressure on David Cunliffe to keep his word. This is important as behind the scenes he will face quite a bit of pressure not to from lobbyists, etc.

  9. vto 9

    This better be good given the hype that has been built around it.

  10. millsy 10

    It appears that we are going to get some form of payment to families that have kids in ECE, from the teasers.

  11. Bill 11

    So Labour will announce a broad economic shake-up.
    The Greens announced an in depth education policy.
    And National announced a dressed up privatisation policy.

    We already know how Nationals’ policy was (mis) reported.
    We also know reporting on the Greens receive less coverage and that the nats were allowed to position their non-education privatisation programme against it.

    Will be interesting to see the tone of the coverage for Labours’ speech.

  12. Ron 12

    Every left supporter should attend the Cunliffe’s speech today/ There is not anything else that can compete with the importance of this event. And don’t forget the barbecue afterwards where you can mix mingle etc
    See you all there

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    Go for it David. The country needs you more than you need us , so thanks. Prediction: as time goes by I think you’ll go down as one of the best leaders that this country has had.

  14. Raa 14

    Good luck with the queen’s english, David.

    Don’t mention the republic ..

  15. philj 15

    I did email RNZ about 1% Radical commentator(!?) Prebble. Told them that credibility is essential in a quality National Broadcaster.

    • Rosie 15.1

      Good on you philj.

      I also heard this morning, what Greywarbler and Chooky referred to above and was bemused and baffled as to why they would quote Prebble, as if he had any relevance what so ever. Surely they can’t be that desperate for news that they need to scrape the bottom of the barrel.They even tried to dress it up by referring to Prebble as an ex Labour MP, a couple of times even. As if a connection from last century is relevant!

      Then again maybe they are willing to help the Right stick their oar in, because that’s all that statement amounted to, just sticking an oar in. Kind of desperate, like a lost and lonely voice in the wind trying to be noticed.

    • Chooky 15.2

      +100

  16. clemgeopin 16

    I will not be able to watch live stream as I am only free after 2:30 pm. I do wish to hear the speech. Will it be quickly available on YouTube or some other link? Do any of you know please?

  17. geoff 17

    Go Dave! The membership, the unions and plenty of struggling kiwis are supporting you!

    (maybe even some of the caucus ;) )

  18. Te Reo Putake 18

    Hmmm, trying to get the Livestream feed up, via labour.org.nz. No sign of life, just a message saying the LP “hasn’t created any events”. Perhaps after 1pm?

  19. lprent 19

    Starting. Jacinda warming the audience up.

  20. Rosie 20

    Man! He is on fire!

  21. idlegus 21

    tweet from gower “Cunliffe: Labour will pay $60 a week to all families with new babies until they are one. Families must earn under $150,000″

    reply tweet from hooton “Do think more already struggling people will have more babies as a result?”

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Needed to balance out our aging population.

    • Lanthanide 21.2

      Yip, the obvious angle of attack on this is “paying people to breed”.

    • Rosie 21.3

      Excellent news for children so far

    • cricklewood 21.4

      Jeez don’t think we need to be given out $60 per week to families between 100 &150k per annum be much better off giving $80 or $90 to families under 75k… upper middle class welfare? Give me a break….

      • Lanthanide 21.4.1

        I would have extended it up to $120k rather than $150k.

        But they need to curry favour with the centre of the electorate.

        • Colonial Viper 21.4.1.1

          Lanth you’re killing me mate.

          $120K to $150K pa household income is now the “centre of the electorate”???

          Sure, if you place the centre somewhere well into the top 10%.

          • Lanthanide 21.4.1.1.1

            Median household income is something like $82k according to the last census.

            So I think capping the household income at $120k instead of $150k is perfectly appropriate.

            My reply about being the “centre of the electorate” is that cricklewood was suggesting < $75k only, which is clearly less than half of all households.

            • Colonial Viper 21.4.1.1.1.1

              Median household income is something like $82k according to the last census.

              That’s the average household income.

              The median point is around $10K lower at just ~$71K pa.

      • geoff 21.4.2

        I take it you’re not a young family trying to service a mortgage on an average house in Auckland…

        • cricklewood 21.4.2.1

          My household income is under 100k, I have a child and rent in Auckland. I currently don’t need or receive anything in terms of wff etc
          Sure im not rich but I am certainly reasonably comfortable and there are plenty that would need that $60 far more than I would. I believe that all available funding in terms of social support should be directed at those truly in need rather than spread into the upper middle class to garner votes. It really puts me off tbh if you want to get the disaffected out to vote cut it off and say 90k and lift benefits by $30 a week across the board sure it wont pander to the middle class but I doubt this policy will make a family pulling in 150k change their vote whereas a decent increase at the bottom end might just get those on the margins into a polling booth. Disappointed.

          • geoff 21.4.2.1.1

            I think you are being unrealistic. The greens and the other smaller parties have a policy advantage over the two main parties. The minor parties can afford to push more targeted or boutique policies because they’re only attempting to get a small fraction of the total votes. National and Labour are hobbled tto a certain extent by their size, ie they have to have policies with broader appeal because they are trying to get a much larger proportion of the voting population, hence why they both engage in ‘lolly scramble’ politics more often than the smaller parties.
            That said, if you’re not happy with Labour then hopefully you’ll still vote for Greens or Mana.

            • cricklewood 21.4.2.1.1.1

              Why is it unrealistic to hope that labour might target a policy at the working class? Why should a solid working class couple with no kids pay tax to subsidise a couple in the upper middle who are far better off? Put the money where its needed most ffs

              • geoff

                This is only one policy, future policy announcements will address industrial policy.

                Why should a solid working class couple with no kids pay tax to subsidise a couple in the upper middle who are far better off?

                You say this like it is going to be mostly wealthy couples taking advantage of this. The reality is there won’t be very many people in those circumstances and the money will be going to where it is most needed. It sounds like you’re buying into the spin that National is trying to put on this.

                As for helping out families, I believe in a civil society a government should be helping families when the vast majority are struggling.

                Decades ago the whole society in NZ was working together and everyone was helping each other. Both National and Labour understood this because it was common sense, it was the only way for prosperity. It still should be common sense but, after 30 years of marinating in a rogernomic soup, NZ society now has some deep structural problems. The causes of those problems will take much longer than one term of government to address and so I think it is fair enough for Labour to implement a populist short-term policy to get into government so that they can actually address those larger structural problems.

                • cricklewood

                  Im aware its not only wealthy couples receiving this I just don’t agree that its been set so high as I said earlier I would prefer the cut off be lower and the amount larger. I cant stomach welfare been extended to the upper middle class when that money would be of far greater use at the lower end. That stands regardless of additional policy.

          • Naki Man 21.4.2.1.2

            Absolutely people earning $150k on welfare What a joke.
            Cunny you should be ashamed of your self

  22. Tinfoilhat 22

    Agreed cricklewood madness throwing money at that section of society

  23. newsense 23

    so was that Hooton admitting that their policies of inequality are in effect eugenics as they prevent poorer people from having children?

    • greywarbler 23.1

      newsense
      That sort of comment doesn’t make any sense old or new. Let’s not have emotive OTT talk about eugenics or are you some religious nut with a shell that’s too hard to crack.

      • newsense 23.1.1

        reply tweet from hooton “Do think more already struggling people will have more babies as a result?”

        The contra of this is that if struggling people are now struggling so much they can’t have children, that seems to me to be a form of suppressing them having children.

        I think the policy from Labour is directly that- to encourage and not penalise people from having families, whereas what is currently in place…

  24. ianmac 24

    A pretty damn good speech David Cunliffe. Clearly he will be the next Prime Minister.
    David is a far better Public Speaker than you know who.
    I like the idea that it all starts with the kids and this is where the actions taken now will bear fruits tomorrow.
    Well done that man!

    • Rosie 24.1

      +1 Ianmac. It was a tremendous speech. He simply must be our next PM.

      Labour and their coalition partners will have a lot of work ahead of them though. I’m trying to be aware of staying realistic about what can be achieved, given what has occurred in the past under Labour (since the 80′s) and given the damage that has occurred over the last five plus years. I really hope that slight niggling feeling of doubt about our future dissipates over time as the New Government proves itself to be one the side of the people (and of the environment?)

      One things’ for sure. It will be an epic election night party. I feel a soundtrack coming on…………….

  25. Brett Dale 25

    Is the 60 bucks a week for each newborn baby until they’re three, a straight up cash payment.

    Or is it 60 dollars worth of vouchers for diapers and baby food, etc etc etc.

    • Rosie 25.1

      I understood it to be a weekly payment. Great work!

    • idlegus 25.2

      ‘diapers’? in nz we call them ‘nappies’.

    • Pete 25.3

      Here’s the factsheet.

      It’s $60 per week for all under 1s in households with an income under $150,000. After their 1st birthday, it abates for incomes over $50k.

      • geoff 25.3.1

        thanks pete

      • Brett Dale 25.3.2

        Pete:

        So if your on 149K a year, your going to get 60 bucks a week a year if you have a new born baby.

        Is it 60 bucks per kid?

        Or just one per household in a life time.

        • McFlock 25.3.2.1

          the stupid, it burns….

        • weka 25.3.2.2

          It’s per kid (families with twins get double).

          • Brett Dale 25.3.2.2.1

            Brilliant! someone on 149K is going to get 60 bucks a week.

            You know if they cant afford a kid on 149K a year, how is the extra 60 bucks a week going help.

            • McFlock 25.3.2.2.1.1

              And people accuse the Left of the “politics of envy”…

            • Rodel 25.3.2.2.1.2

              Maybe they could send their kid to a private school to learn about spelling and punctuation…Keep trying BD..you’ll get it right and possibly convince someone sometime of something.

    • Naki Man 25.4

      No its for piss and smokes.
      You don’t think the kids will benefit from this do you.
      Vouchers would be a good idea.

      • Colonial Viper 25.4.1

        The vast majority of parents will make good decisions with the extra money.

        • Te Reo Putake 25.4.1.1

          Good decisions? Like voting Labour :)

          I reckon this policy could be this election’s interest free student loans, a winner straight from HC’s playbook. Not only delivers to families, but makes the grandparents consider voting Labour for the good of the mokopunas. Worth about 2% right there.

  26. Brian 26

    Finally I feel the brighter future may actually be on the horizon!
    Well done David, great speech, great policies and a great sense of direction and hope given.

  27. Te Reo Putake 27

    I liked the references to ‘my opponent’. A knowing wink to another drunk Nat leader past his sell by date?

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Very US style not to mention “your opponent” by name.

      Doubly odd to have an introduction where Colin Craig is mentioned by name though.

    • Rosie 27.2

      I also liked the “if you know what I mean……..”

      He was personable and engaging in general.

  28. dave 28

    from that speech i would say john key is toaste

  29. karol 29

    The hall was packed – people sitting on the steps in the aisles.

    Excellent delivery of the speech.

    Went to the press qu & a, but it was hard to hear what was being said.

    Did catch bits of a few things.

    Watch for Gower doing the wedge politics. He was obsessive in asking Cunliffe if he supports the Greens’ cannabis policy. Cunliffe’s answers were along the lines of: the Greens will bring this or their policies to the negotiating table. I’m not ruling anything out before we start. I’m not negotiating such things through the media. I do support the Greens’ education policy that was announced yesterday.

    Corin Dann asked why Cunliffe was so scathing about the “rockstar economy”. Cunliffe said he wasn’t. He was scathing about rockstar lifestyles.

    • Olwyn 29.1

      I was one of the people sitting on the steps in a corridor – we ended up having to park a long way away. I thought the speech was smart and well crafted. He firmly rejected the trickle down theory, and signalled a change in economic direction, with examples such as changing the labour laws, shifting investment from housing to productive industry and revisiting the RBA. He then spelled out in detail a policy that could be explained, cost-wise, as things now stand.

      That was the right way to go about it. It is not possible to give a detailed account of a paradigm shift in a short speech. Far better to simply signal. However, it is possible to spell out and justify a change to early childhood care whose cost lies within the parameters of an abandoned earlier policy. I was heartened by his speech, and the size of the crowd in attendance, which I notice has not yet been mentioned in the media.

    • geoff 29.2

      What a pity that the most widely spread information about this policy has to go through contorted lenses of Gower or Dann.

    • karol 29.3

      Watch for Gower doing the wedge politics. He was obsessive in asking Cunliffe if he supports the Greens’ cannabis policy.
      Called it!

      Coming up from Gower on 3 News tonight – after the Grammys and Cunliffe’s SON speech.

      • karol 29.3.1

        Ooops… no, Tova O’Brien went with it. But from what I heard, Cunliffe didn’t give a categorical “no” – Cunliffe’s replies edited very much.

    • Rosie 29.4

      “Watch for Gower doing the wedge politics”.

      Ah karol, you know Gower’s style well! Tonight’s news segment on the above was a manufactured piece about division between the Greens and Labour. It’s great that you got those words down, as it illustrates what gap exists between the truth and what is reported on The News.

        • Rosie 29.4.1.1

          Thanks for posting that Anne. After reading karol’s warning, it was almost if on cue, TV3 came up with “the cracks are emerging………..”

          • karol 29.4.1.1.1

            Yes, from Anne’s link – the print text.

            “They can put on the table what they want to put on the table, but Labour’s policy is not to decriminalise cannabis,” says Mr Cunliffe.

            So that’s all they could quote as evidence of Green-Labour cracks. And that was after Gower went on and on and on with the questions about it. I heard Bomber snort cynically with a kind of – I wouldn’t say disbelief – more like “that’s Gower for you”.

            I didn’t hear everything that was said, or see/hear if O’Brien asked her own question/s about it. But to Gower, Cunliffe talked about negotiating such policies with the Greens… and said he wasn’t going to negotiate it through the media. And then, after more Gower questions, Cunliffe said he wasn’t going to negotiate over what is going to be negotiated before the negotiations start. And he stated categorically that he supported the Green’s education policy.

            • Rosie 29.4.1.1.1.1

              Interesting notes karol.

              Cunliffe comes across as one who won’t have his words twisted and appears to be one step ahead of reporters. It seems he is comfortable and confident with the topic at hand, so is unflappable, unlike his “opponent” who, when on the rare occasion is faced with a question that is vaguely challenging has a hissy fit and calls everyone a bunch of knuckleheads.

              • karol

                I’m also curious as to why Tova O’Brien did the news report, when, as far as I could see, it was Gower who asked the questions on the topic.

                Typical Gower: go for peripheral issues and try to beat it up as a Cunliffe negative. Remember when Cunliffe launched his Labour leadership campaign at his New Lynn office? Gower went on and on about a painting of Cunliffe on the wall, and Cunliffe living in Herne Bay.

                What to watch for re-wedge media pressures: MSM journos claiming Green-Labour cracks/splits based on flimsy evidence. Are these journos so stupid as to think Labour and Greens will have exactly the same policies on everything?

                Edit; note also in the 3 News report, Turei said cannabis wasn’t a high prioirty policy for them but they also aren’t ashamed of it.

                • Anne

                  … when Cunliffe launched his Labour leadership campaign at his New Lynn office? Gower went on and on about a painting of Cunliffe on the wall,…

                  And you know what I was told about that painting karol? It was done by an intellectually handicapped young man who is quite artistic and he sketched/painted it for David Cunliffe. David and his staff hung it in a prominent position so that every time the young man came into the office he would see it and feel proud.

                  I have no reason to disbelieve it.

  30. fisiani 30

    Three weeks ago I stood on top of a 1200-metre peak on the edge of Kahurangi National Park with my 12-year-old son.
    Sermon from the Mount. Next we will probably hear that The Cunliffe has rented a tomb, but just for three days.
    He will turn water into welfare.
    A baby bonus for the rich. A land of milk and honey but no oil.
    Does The Cunliffe think we are all thick and happy to take a bribe? Obviously he does.

    • Sanctuary 30.1

      Nice collection of slogans there fisiani. One day you might even connect them up with some thoughts.

      BTW – have Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett emerged from the hide away you forced them to flee to and answered you incisive questions yet?

    • Chooky 30.2

      spinning here fisiani??????….dont like looking after New Zealand babies and children?!

      ……also if you want to go all religious and biblical on us……..as i recall it the ‘Sermon on the Mount ‘ is all about loving your neighbour as yourself and looking after the most vulnerable!….not a bad egalitarian message.!.

      ……….and certainly a lot better than the OLD Testament God with his ‘the chosen’ few…..which is most inegalitarian….and fits in rather well with monetarism, Neo Liberalism and lining the pockets of the rich …dont you think?

      …..”no oil”…what are you talking about ?….this is just a beginning of ‘the campaign’ speech….Wait till you hear Labour’s plans for education!

      ….as for bribery ….well we all know which Party excels at that dont we?…..NACT is All about bribery!

  31. Sanctuary 31

    The media response to this package will be framed by an overt neo-liberal hostility. I would guess that editorial comment of everyone from the Dom-Post to the Herald to Mike “SkyCity” Hoskings will heap the most vindictive rhetoric they can muster against it. In short, the MSM reaction will expose how far right our media is these days.

    I see the public reaction to this policy as a bit of litmus test of how much of the old egalitarian New Zealand actually still exists, and how much that egalitarian NZ is just a fig-leaf myth used to pretend we are not a deeply divided society of haves and have nots. If the public (as in the polls) revealk the middle class hate this policy, then the left can forget about winning government with an honest policy program and thinking in terms of vanguard revolutionary tactics – a hidden, reverse Rogernomics blitzkrieg to be enacted once in power.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 31.1

      Yes exactly: Rogernomics was enacted by stealth against the wishes of the majority and can be reversed the same way if necessary, but one thing is certain: it must be reversed.

  32. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 32

    Good one Metira Turei – The Greens are extremely adept at saying it like it is and making the connections for people:

    “Mr Cunliffe’s policies show a real commitment to children and the Greens are fully behind them,” said Mrs Turei.

    “If we give our kids the best start in life, they will grow up happier and healthier, they will learn more, and contribute more to our communities and our economy.”

    And

    “New Zealanders have a real choice this election between a Green-Labour Government that will deliver for children and families or National and a rag-tag bunch of misfits that have turned a blind eye to the needs of kids,” said Mrs Turei.”

    Excellent

  33. Not a PS Staffer 33

    A Great speech by David.
    A Great Policy announcement.

    Congratulations to the people who brought it all together.

    Congratulations to Sue Moroney and Jacinda Ardern for their work on the Children’s Policy.

  34. Seti 34

    Oh man, that policy is gold! Welfare for up to $150k rich pricks? Just what the anti-poverty advocates were looking for I’m sure.

  35. bad12 35

    Lolz, i said in another thread, i think the one posted by David Cunliffe Himself that He should ‘nail’ this first speech of what to all extents and purposes is the opening of the election campaign,

    Only half believing of course that He would ‘nail it’ i am pleased to say that this speech meets my expectations and some,

    Hopefully the full hall gave David a standing ovation at the conclusion of this fine speech, He certainly got one here…

    • Anne 35.1

      They did indeed bad12. A very colourful and happy audience. One of the best Labour audiences in terms of ambience that I have seen.

  36. (a different) Pete 36

    OMG. A leap into the past. A baby bonus! If memory serves me correctly Mike Moore proposed this in the 70′s and it was universally rejected. Can’t see much to recommend this. Available to all up to $150k. What are they thinking.

    [Bill: there is already a Pete posting here. To avoid possible confusion, please change your handle for future comments. Cheers.]

  37. Steve Wrathall 37

    I though they couldn’t come up with dafter policies than they went into 2011 with, but the …. bribe for those on 150K shows there are even greater heights of stupid to reach

    [RL: Using the word 'breeder' in that contemptuous manner will be deleted. ]

    • McFlock 37.1

      “breeder bribe”? You must have jizzed in your pants when the Legion of D’oh brainstorming session came up with that one.

      Seriously, “bribing” someone $3k to “breed” is like “bribing” a bank manager to give you a $30k OD in exchange for a lollipop – so blatantly underpriced that they would probably have done it anyway.

      Anyone moronic enough to believe that contrived piece of spin is probably already at least a tory – although they might not have quite enough multi-generational inbreeding to vote nact.

    • Chooky 37.2

      …Labour needs to axe those daft unnecessary super NACT motorways ….so the brrmm brrrrmmm boys have to drive their brrrrrm brrrrm cars at safer slower speeds …….and the transport businesses pay a fair price for wear and tear on our existing roads( use rail transport more) ……and those rich male ( politician and mates?)share holders in the construction companies building the privatised roads dont cream the profits from poor New Zealanders

      axe the motorways….savings all around!!!!! ….there is plenty for New Zealand kids and education….we just have to get politicians with their priorities made ethical.

      • Molly 37.2.1

        +1000 Chooky. I really don’t get those brmm brmm brmm commercials. Especially interspersed amongst the Speed Kills ones coming from the Police….

  38. KiwiGunner 38

    I don’t like it much. Any family on $100k+ doesn’t need this and, once again, it is govt subsidising our low wage economy.

    • Chooky 38.1

      …if you take into account the cost of housing these days ….either renting or buying for young couples …it does make sense ….there is very little left over for children… .especially if student loans havent been paid off

      ( it is different for the older generation who bought their houses when houses were affordable and are largely paid off)

      • Naki Man 38.1.1

        Cry me a fucking river.
        Anyone earning over $100k does not need welfare
        If you cant afford to live in Auckland move.

        • Draco T Bastard 38.1.1.1

          /facepalm

          If you can’t afford to live where you’re working them move to where you can’t get work – and you still won’t be able to afford to live

          You really, really, really have NFI do you?

          • Rosie 38.1.1.1.1

            “You really, really, really have NFI do you?”

            No, (go) Naddy Man doesn’t.

          • Naki Man 38.1.1.1.2

            If you had some skills and a better attitude you might be able to get work.
            Lots of people get a transfer or a job in another city. I have never had a problem but then I am not so fucking negative.

        • Chooky 38.1.1.2

          @Naki Man …well that is probably most young New Zealanders who want to buy a house and have a family in Auckland( without rich parents) ….so you would shoo young New Zealanders all out of Auckland would you?.

          ….and who would take over Auckland?…..your rich investor friends?… speculators are why house prices are so high and unaffordable for young NZers in Auckland!

          …New Zealand for New Zealnders I say…….it is pathetic if NACT cant even support young New Zealanders buy a house and have a family!

          …….You go cry a river when NACT is thrown out next election….and you and your rich friends go jump in the river!

          • Naki Man 38.1.1.2.1

            It is what it is. If you cant afford something don’t buy.
            Just stop whining about it

        • greywarbler 38.1.1.3

          What’s it like Taranaki, Naki Man? Jobs, houses, you should be doing All Right there?

            • Naki Man 38.1.1.3.1.1

              Plenty of jobs and affordable housing. That is what oil exploration does for a city

          • Naki Man 38.1.1.3.2

            Its all good. Quite simple really you buy a house that you can afford.
            Then when its paid off buy a nicer house. That is what I have done

            • greywarbler 38.1.1.3.2.1

              Naki Man
              You are a real Kiwi bloke or blokess. A man with commonsense like Peter Dunne. Perhaps you could stand for Parliament too. Isn’t Shane Ardern or whoever standing down. I think he wants his tractor back on the farm.

              There could be a a future waiting for you in Wellington, and they give you an allowance for housing, but you have to decide whether you will take it for your Wellington base, or your Taranaki base. Seeing it would be cheaper in the Naki than Wellington it might be best to draw it on Wellington. Would that be a good idea?

              Housing seems your interest. And you sound as if you can afford more than the outhouse that most young Aucklanders can afford for their first home. Perhaps if you got into Parliament you could move to have housing information seminars. They used to have those in 70′s when people still thought they lived in a country that wanted them to have jobs and be able to buy a house and make a living, and have a happy, prosperous life.

            • tricledrown 38.1.1.3.2.2

              nakered man what if they don’t find any oil .
              the technology hasn,t been developed to recover the oil nakered !
              So when is this bounty going to happen

              • Naki Man

                What are you on
                Where do you think your gas comes from?
                They found oil and gas in 1866 in New Plymouth.
                Oil and gas already contributes twice as much to NZ,s GDP as dairy farming in
                Taranaki. They do have the technology to recover the oil or gas, are you for real

    • geoff 38.2

      And how many families will that be? Probably not that many and therefore won’t cost significantly more than if they had excluded families on higher incomes.

    • bad12 38.3

      Ok, on the surface you make a valid point, but, David Cunliffe is also saying He will unashamedly tax the rich to pay for it,so while it might be a subsidy for the low wage economy it is those who benefit the most from that low wage economy who will be paying to alleviate the curse of such low wages…

      • gem 38.3.1

        ”Unashamedly” or otherwise, the top personal tax rate will still be significantly lower than that of Australia or Britain if Labour win the 2014 election, as signalled by Parker this month in the Listener.

        • bad12 38.3.1.1

          Gem, if you will excuse the expression i don’t really give a shit how much the rich are taxed or even for that matter how rich the rich stay,

          What concerns me are the ‘bread and butter’ issues that negatively effect beneficiaries and low waged workers, both demographics actually being the same people in most cases,

          If by ‘redistribution’ a Labour lead Government along with it’s coalition can find solutions to child poverty and affordable housing not only for beneficiaries but low waged workers as well then i will consider them to be well worth voting for,

          my oft stated view is simply this, if taxed heavily the rich to maintain such wealth as they possess will have to work harder to attain such a goal,

          In saying that as it is the workers who create such wealth for the rich, to maintain their wealth in the face of rising taxes would require more production which would also require more workers…

          • gem 38.3.1.1.1

            ”Gem, if you will excuse the expression i don’t really give a shit how much the rich are taxed or even for that matter how rich the rich stay.”
            The thing is that the more equal a country is in terms of relative incomes determines the extent to which the bread and butter issues negatively affect beneficiaries and low waged workers.
            ”In saying that as it is the workers who create such wealth for the rich, to maintain their wealth in the face of rising taxes would require more production which would also require more workers…” +100

    • lprent 38.4

      Families on less than 100k do need it, and most families wind up on less than 100k when they have kids under a year of age because one parent or another has to be off work.

      So you’d get upset with it because of what? That helping kids in the first year of life is unfair? On whom?

      Dickhead. Please think through your slogans

      • cricklewood 38.4.1

        I’ve got only one child admittedly but we are quite comfortable on just under 100k per year. Tbh its become more expensive now my daughter has started school… the rort that is uniforms sees to that… seems it costs 3 times more to by a polo because it has a crest embroidered on it …

        • Rosie 38.4.1.1

          cricklewood, it might pay to not judge everyone else’s circumstances by your own. Just because you are “comfortable” doesn’t mean everyone else on your rate is. Other’s may have insanely high accommodation costs, health issues, debt and other factors that may mean life isn’t comfortable for them and their children.

          • cricklewood 38.4.1.1.1

            Believe me accommodation isnt cheap but when you’ve got @1500 A week net coming in life is reasonably comfy with one child.
            I would be more than happy to see sickness, disability & accommodation supplements increased as I am all to aware of how hard it can be. I just don’t see the point of extending so far into the upper middle class.

          • Colonial Viper 38.4.1.1.2

            Rosie, sorry but that is just upper middle class crazy talk, complaining about the limitations of $1500 net in the hand per week soon followed up by how unreasonable the fees are at Diocesan and the pressure interest rate rises are going to put on repaying your $400K mortgage followed by how on earth you are going to update your 8 year old 3 series into something a bit more respectable.

            • cricklewood 38.4.1.1.2.1

              Agreed cant really complain about your lot in life when you’re healthy have good accommodation, food on the table and money left at the end of the week.
              I prob wont have a 2nd child but if I did id rather that $60 went to someone needing it more. Worst case Id have to drink less beer and eat out less hardly a big problem in the scheme of things…

              • Colonial Viper

                Indeed…trying to raise a family on half that net sum…that’s when there are real serious challenges…

        • greywarbler 38.4.1.2

          cricklewood
          That’s one of my regular thoughts too. The schools are so dismissive of how people are stretched by the costs that are laid on them by education, that it doesn’t bother them a bit that instead of being able for instance to all wear navy short sleeved collared polo shirts at primary school, obtained anywhere the price is good, they have to get a specially embroidered one at an extra cost.

          The local upper class Secondary Girls has kilts with skirts that must be almost a metre in length and of course miles of pleats all round. But the Boards of Trustees and well-bred ladies on the decision team for uniforms are hide-bound in their attitudes so the girls are kilt-bound and they are mighty expensive whether they are wool or acrylic. Neatness, attractiveness, uniformity of style, colour and design PLUS practicality, and efficiency in care and cost as well, are outside the experience and understanding of the uniform committees.

      • KiwiGunner 38.4.2

        Do you mean me? Bit rough, I liked the tone of the speech overall. Support Labour, just query this and you call me a dickhead. I’ve never had this type of comment here and would appreciate an apology please.

        • chris73 38.4.2.1

          I’d advise you on not holding breath while waiting for one

          • lprent 38.4.2.1.1

            I have been known to apologize. But it is rare and confined to things that I feel that I got the completely wrong end of the stick. Usually it is when I’m moderating and lack context so I read what people wrote. I don’t see that they were satirising someone else.

        • mickysavage 38.4.2.2

          I think there is an argument for lowering the threshold but there is not much to be saved …

          • Colonial Viper 38.4.2.2.1

            Although sometimes the aim is simply to send a political message to various constituencies.

            Setting the threshold at a level which net benefits only the bottom 90% of households for instance makes more political and electoral sense than a dollar figure. At a guess this would be around the $120K-$130K pa mark (given that the 50% – median – household income is circa $70K pa).

          • greywarbler 38.4.2.2.2

            Kiwi Gunner This is you at 38.
            I don’t like it much. Any family on $100k+ doesn’t need this and, once again, it is govt subsidising our low wage economy.
            If you had any interest in what people think here you will know there has been strong agreement with responsible groups advocating for children that there needs to be more done to assist them, and that early childhood usually goes along with a drop in income, and a rise in costs, and that early childhood health and positive experiences, are major contributors to a good start in life.

            There is very strong social policy evidence that policies which are fairly wide-spread, rather than narrowly targeted, are beneficial to society in that no-one misses out, no-one feels that they are bearing all the problems but getting none of the government help, and there is no stigma in receiving government help,. And that help indicates strong support for health and welfare for the babies and toddlers, our most vulnerable citizens, being cared for by the other important citizens the parents and caregivers.

            We know there is a low wage economy, so we need to do something to alleviate it, not just bitch about it, and commiserate with parents with young families. That is until we can restore the economy to around 1984 level, which wasn’t great but we had some activity going on all around the country in diverse sectors. But it would probably take at least 20 years to restore the economy. And technology and the environment have changed and we now have to apply ourselves to a new way along a new path, and go back to supportive family payments, now it has sunk in that we aren’t the economic jewel of the South Pacific despite what we are told.

            Now as most of us feel that this is the case, and want to see people receive help for a few years. Also we hope they are in stable accommodation suitable for a baby, which may be a considerable part of the $100,000 plus. It is unlikely that we would support you in your criticism, or apologise.

        • Chooky 38.4.2.3

          lol… KiwiGunner ,,,you wont get an apology from BiG Daddy Iprent because it is his blog site….

          you could be called a lot worse than Dickhead …how about Fuckwit?

        • Anne 38.4.2.4

          Don’t worry KiwiGunner. That’s very mild coming from Iprent. But he’s one hell of a good sysop and spends many hours keeping this site going. My initial reaction was similar to yours but I’m starting to understand now. Cunliffe is being very smart and getting a huge pool of potential Labour voters to sit up and take notice – something he had to do and very early in the year. Without it Labour wasn’t going to fly…

        • lprent 38.4.2.5

          Do you mean me? Bit rough…

          I express my opinions based on what people say. What you said is that because your family were getting 100k and didn’t need it, then others didn’t either. The implication was wide enough that I read it as suggesting that a family with a income on 50k didn’t either, and that others in the same income range as yourself didn’t either.

          You were being stupid because you hadn’t thought it through, especially in the absence of any detail of the policy. For instance, doesn’t the policy refer to family income prior to the birth or during the first year? Some people get paid paternal leave. Some do not?

          Another announcement was that Labour would push through 26 weeks paid parental leave. This means that in the first year about half way through with a sick kids, the family income drops from say 100k to 50k. After watching parents with kids for some time (I’m not one myself – but I am a hell of an observant friend, uncle, great-uncle, and godfather), the absolute last thing that people need is to have to spend their time trying to work their way through WINZ and the other public services constrained by the dickhead policies forced by decades of moralistic and judgmental fools like yourself. Trying to get sleep is usually enough of a problem.

          Also any birth is a complete crap shoot. Kids come in with all kinds of issues. They can have early births, life-threatening deformities, various types of sickliness, etc etc. The amount of resource to get a kid through the first year can vary from bugger all to a hell of a lot.I’ve seen people having real issues just because they can’t get the hand-me-downs from their dead family when they have a kid that is growing twice as fast as everyone elses.

          Sure you can say that the state/charities will provide – but given the usual way that both respond, I’d say that giving parents more money in the hand is probably more efficient when they’re scrabbling to find doctors fees.

          …would appreciate an apology…

          You might. That doesn’t mean that I apologize to a fool who doesn’t think through what they say, and got their feelings hurt when this was pointed out.

          The site allows for “robust debate” in the policy and only thing that I look for to constrain that when I’m being a moderator is “pointless abuse” and things that disrupt the argument. Live with it.

          If you want polite debate on your terms, then follow the advice in the last part of the about, don’t snivel and whine about it to me..

  39. Papa Tuanuku 39

    Someone should link this kaupapa to Royals, that’s the topic of the minute

  40. clemgeopin 40

    My reaction:
    [1] A good speech with some welcome oratory in parts.

    [2] I am very glad about the initiatives for parental leave, child rearing help and early childhood education because the early years are the most crucial in a person’s life and future.

    [3] At first glance, I thought the $150,000 was too high a bracket, but on careful consideration, I realised that that is a sensible and fair social, as well as a clever political move, which hopefully will be balanced by reversal of National/ACT’s two billion per year tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy the most. [This child-help policy over the years will or may help us have better and perhaps more local citizens, thus perhaps reducing bigger immigration in the future]

    [4] I wish the speech had many more broad policy indicators on issues such as poverty, closing the income gap, housing solutions, job creation, environment, control of excess profits of price gauging corporates, banks and monopolies. reduction of household costs of essential food and other items, including electricity. I am hoping that these policies will get rolled in in the next few months one by one before the next elections.

  41. Foreign Waka 41

    I find the policies regarding child support in particular and capital gains tax winners in my book. Two fly’s with one clap, brilliant. As long as the child support is caped at a reasonable income level and all support mechanism such as rent supplements etc are being taken into consideration. These two policies alone make me reconsider everything. I am usually a green voter but I feel very strongly about the kids and their unequal start in life. This one has to be balanced out, kids have no advocates in politics – it just has to be.

    • bad12 42.1

      Push that sad and lonely barrow for all it’s worth Chris73, careful tho it’s full off bullshit and uphill your likely to get covered in it…

    • Rosie 42.2

      Oh you mean those stuffed polls where you can sit there and repeatedly click merrily away on the same option? God, people are probably paid to skew those dodgy polls.

  42. greywarbler 43

    Who reads the various MSM in the UK according to Yes, Prime Minister.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGscoaUWW2M

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    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin